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Transrectal Ultrasound – Patient Information

This patient information aims to answer some of the questions you may have about having an transrectal ultrasound. It explains the benefits, risks and alternatives to the procedure.  It explains what you can expect when you come to hospital. If you have any further questions please speak to your consultant or the imaging department.

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What is a transrectal ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a way to get images of within the body without the use of x-rays, and instead sound waves are utilised. These sound waves that are used bounce back from the internal structures which gives images.

A transrectal ultrasound is where the probe is inserted internally via the rectum. This is sometimes used instead of an abdominal ulstrasound as when the probe is inserted internally it is able to show better images of the prostate and surrounding structures.

This scan will give your doctor a more accurate idea of the volume (size) of your prostate over a normal abdominal ultrasound

Asking for your consent

The clinical team will ask you if you are happy for the scan to go ahead (verbal consent). If you do not wish to have this scan or are undecided, please tell the clinical team. It is your decision and you can change your mind at any time. Please remember that you can ask the clinical team any questions you have at any time.

What happens during the scan?

A healthcare assistant will collect you from the waiting room to take you through to your scan where they will confirm your details. You may be asked to change into a gown.

They will confirm your details with you such as your name some details with you, such as your name and date of birth.

The radiologist will come into the room after reviewing any previous imaging and may ask about your history or any symptoms

You will then be asked to lie on the ultrasound table. For this scan you will be lying on your left side with your knees pulled up.

The radiologist will use a small ultrasound probe. The probe is covered with a probe cover for hygiene reasons. This is gently inserted into the rectum. Once inserted the radiologist will gently move the probe to get a clear picture of the rectum and surrounding areas.

Does the scan hurt?

Having a transrectal ultrasound should not hurt. You are likely to feel a little pressure but no discomfort

How long will the scan take?

The scan itself should only take a few minutes but you’re advised to have at least 30 minutes set aside for your appointment.

How to prepare for the scan

This ultrasound needs no preparation. If you have been given a referral for your scan please bring this with you to your appointment.

When will I get the results?
The results will be sent to your referring doctor within 48 hours.

Can I bring a relative or friend?

You may bring a relative or friend with you in the waiting room, but they will usually not be able to go into the examination room.

Can I bring my children?

We do not have childcare facilities and children cannot go into the scan room with you. If you need to bring your children with you, please bring an adult who can look after them while you are having the examination.

Contact us

Please contact the Imaging team about any general concerns on 0207 467 4317. However, if you experience any symptoms of concern please contact your GP or go to your local Emergency Department (A&E).

Your comments and concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines, please speak to the staff caring for you. For support or advice please speak to your consultant or the Imaging department on 0207 467 4317.

Language and accessible support services

If you need an interpreter, information about your care in a different language or format or additional support needs, please get in touch with us before your arrival